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District Attorney Randy McGinley is proud to announce the implementation of an updated Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTIP) in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit. The program was started in 2017 and since that time it has helped hundreds of individuals get a second chance at having a clean record. This update seeks to continue this success by both streamlining and expanding the program.

For those that are not familiar, the Alcovy PTIP serves as an alternative to the traditional prosecution of first-time and lower level offenders by diverting them from the criminal justice system while also keeping the community safe and ensuring justice for victims. This program is designed with the following goals:

- Deter future criminal conduct;

- Reduce the number of less serious cases in the courts;

- Provide restitution to the victim;

- Provide an offender with an opportunity to accept responsibility without having a criminal conviction on their record;

- Provide rehabilitative services, life-skills training, and other opportunities to correct the underlying issues that led to criminal activity instead of incarceration; and

- Protect the community by supervising participants.

Georgia law (OCGA § 15-18-80) allows for the District Attorney’s Office to create and administer such a program. Entry into the program shall be at the discretion of the District Attorney based upon written guidelines. However, by law any crime that requires a mandatory minimum sentence of incarceration or imprisonment that cannot be probated is ineligible for participation in the program.

Those that apply for PTIP (or are given an offer to participate from my office) will be screened by the prosecutor assigned to the case in order to determine whether the case qualifies for PTIP. Additionally, the assigned prosecutor will decide which Track the participant fits into. The program will have two Tracks: Track I is the “drug track” and Track II is the non-drug track. Track I will cover not only drug possession crimes, but also crimes which arose from substance abuse issues. Track I is a longer program than Track II and includes intensive drug screening and treatment designed to address the participant’s underlying problems with addiction.

In addition to shifting to the two Track systems, below is a summary of the other major changes to the program:

- The District Attorney’s Office will no longer be supervising participants. That duty will fall to Georgia Probation Management. This puts supervision in the hands of those who do that regularly while freeing time for DA’s Investigators to focus on serious and violent crimes.

- The default will be that any restitution due to victims will be paid in full at the initial supervision meeting. Therefore, victims will more quickly be made whole.

- There will be a monthly supervision fee. However, the initial fee to enter the program has been lowered in light of this.

- More drug possession crimes will qualify for participation. This includes all Schedule III, IV, and V substances as well as marijuana. More serious drugs that are listed in Schedules I and II are not eligible because of the nature of those substances. Exceptions are made for THC oil and cocaine. Additionally, cases involving a small number of marijuana plants that are clearly for personal use only will be eligible for entry into the program. Crimes involving sale, trafficking, and possession with intent to distribute will continue to be ineligible for the Alcovy PTIP.

- Track I can be supervised for between 6-12 months, while Track II, the non-drug track cases, can be supervised for between 3-6 months.

- Payments will now be made to Georgia Probation Management instead of the Clerk’s Office of each county, which expands the methods by which payments can be made (i.e., online).

As both offices continue to diligently and successfully work towards resolving any backlog of ready for trial cases, we recognize that non-violent and less serious crimes committed by those with no criminal history can often be resolved through intervention rather than prosecution. Those that successfully complete the program will have their charges dismissed and the arrest will automatically be restricted (expunged) from their record.

One important thing that has not changed is that victims will always be consulted prior to a participants’ entry into the program.

More information is available in the PTIP Handbook, including details as to what cases may or may not be eligible. A copy of the Handbook is available on our website by visiting

Randy McGinley

District Attorney

Alcovy Judicial Circuit

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Upon becoming the Acting District Attorney in June and being elected as the District Attorney in November, I have spent hours reviewing the structure and policies of the DA's office. Having been a prosecutor in this circuit since 2011 and as the Chief Assistant from 2017- 2020, I have worked extensively in both Newton and Walton Counties. Both these offices are full of incredible individuals that work hard to help the people of our communities.

I am proud to announce that my office will have two Chief Assistants, one in charge of each office:

Cliff Howard is our Chief Assistant in the Walton County Office. Cliff has been a prosecutor in Walton County since 2006. He has prior experience in private practice representing victims of crimes and was previously the Chief Assistant in the DeKalb County Solicitor's Office in the mid-1990s. He has handled the many of the most serious and complicated cases in our Walton Office for years. Additionally, he has years of experience supervising attorneys and assisting the many agencies that we work with.

Amber Dally is our Chief Assistant in the Newton County Office. As a career prosecutor, Amber has been prosecuting with our Newton Office since 2014. Amber has been a supervising attorney for a number of years that also handled the prosecution of the most complicated and difficult cases. Additionally, Amber has been the prosecutor assigned to the Newton County Felony Drug Court Program for about two years.

Amber and Cliff, as the Chief Assistants, will be assisting DA Randy McGinley in supervising and managing each office. They will also handle many of the serious violent felonies and other complicated cases. Additionally, they will be heavily involved in working with all of the agencies that work with our office: law enforcement, DFCS, child advocacy centers, and other community partners.

Additionally, each office will have a Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney. Rich Vandever in Newton and Jennifer Hendee in Walton. Additionally, Jillian Hall is a Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney that is assigned to Resource Courts in each county, Veterans Court in Newton County, and as a supervising attorney in Newton County. Jacqueline Fletcher and Bailey Wilkinson are the Senior Assistant District Attorneys in each office. They will assist in the supervision of other ADAs while handling a wide range of cases including murders, sex crimes, and other complicated matters.

I have also included the updated organization chart for the Alcovy Circuit. Over the coming days, I will be highlighting the other senior members of the office as well as the non-attorney members of the leadership team.

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District Attorney Randy McGinley is proud to announce the hiring of two new career prosecutors that come to the Alcovy Judicial Circuit after years of experience handling the most serious cases and helping the most vulnerable victims:

Rich Vandever joins our Newton County Office as a Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney. Rich has been a prosecutor for over 20 years. Rich has handled prosecutions of murders, sex crimes, and other of the most difficult and complicated cases. Additionally, he has years of experience in supervising and training prosecutors and law enforcement.

Jennifer Hendee joins our Walton County Office as a Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney with about 15 years of prior experience as a prosecutor. Jennifer has prosecuted murders, human trafficking, sex crimes, and other serious matters. She also has experience supervising other prosecutors.

Please join me in welcoming Rich and Jennifer to the Alcovy Judicial Circuit. - Randy McGinley

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